Tag Archives: public health organizations

Canadian Lung Association Open To E-Cigarettes

Canadian Lung AssociationIn appears the Canadian Lung Association may be re-thinking it’s stance on electronic cigarettes.  The publicly funded health organization has put out multiple press releases warning Canadian smokers about the potential risks of “vaping”.  In an article released January 21st, 2013 named “Don’t Be Fooled By E-Cigarettes“, Margaret Bernhardt-Lowdon, a tobacco issues spokesperson for the Canadian Lung Association stated:

“Don’t be fooled by e-cigarettes. These electronic devices could be potentially harmful to lung health and are not an approved quit smoking aid by either Health Canada or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,”

But in an article by Carly Weeks from the Globe and Mail named “Could E-Cigarettes Save Smokers’ Lives? Some Health Advocates Think So“, the CLA seems to be reconsidering their prior objections to the new technology:

“I think we owe it to the five million Canadians who are addicted to tobacco products. If there’s a product out there that may have some merit to bring down those numbers, we have to look at it,” – Jennifer Miller, vice-president of health promotion with the Lung Association.

It is a promising sign for all Canadian smokers and vapers.  And although it is not an outright endorsement, it does give hope that public health advocates in Canada are starting to consider the science behind electronic cigarettes, rather than the hype.

Michael Siegel Corrects Misleading Opinions

Since the introduction of electronic cigarettes into the US market, many public health groups have went on the offense against their use. Arguments have ranged from “we just don’t know what is in them” to “they come with flavors so kids will start using them”. In recent months a new talking point has been taken up by anti e-cigarette organizations such as Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Americans for Non-Smokers’ Rights, and the American Legacy Foundation. The new objection is one dealing with the social acceptance of smoking. They argue that electronic cigarettes continue the action of smoking and normalize it again, reversing years of anti-smoking propaganda.

But Michael Siegel, Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health has issued a blog post to offer counter points to the misleading information being presented by those organizations with a vested interest. In his post named Blinded by Ideology, Anti-Smoking Advocates are Widely Misleading the Public into Thinking that Electronic Cigarette Use is a Form of Smoking, he correctly states that “By definition, using electronic cigarette use reduces cigarette use. Far from promoting smoking, advertisements that promote electronic cigarette use are urging smokers not to smoke — but to switch to electronic cigarettes instead.”

Semantics aside, Dr. Siegel is correct; vaping may be like smoking in many ways, but IT IS NOT SMOKING!  And equating it to smoking in order to apply the same laws to vaping and smoking, it unfair, unscientific, and helps no smokers.  What it does do, is keep those involved in industries against e-cigarettes; namely pharmaceuticals and tobacco, in business.

These so called “public health” organizations should be ashamed of bashing e-cigarettes, a product in direct competition with the most deadly product on the market.  If public health was their number one goal, e-cigarettes would be on their list of ways to quit smoking.